An excellent book on how, and why we make the decisions we make
This is quite a dense book that covers the work done over the career of the Daniel Kanheman’s long career. Daniel, and his research partner Amos, spent decades researching and experimenting on why our mind makes certain decisions, and how they affect us. They propose the dual system structure (System 1, and System 2) of our mind, in which each system is responsible for a certain kind of decision making.
This is responsible, in a gist, for the the quick decisions that our mind makes. These decisions are prone to be irrational, biased, and generally give more importance to prejudice, than fact. Despite this, this is a very important part of our mind, and do possess a lot of advantages to us.
“System one executes skilled responses and generates skilled intuitions, after adequate training. System one creates a coherent pattern of activated ideas in associative memory. It also links a sense of cognitive ease to illusions of truth, pleasant feelings, and reduced vigilance.”
This is the smarter, more rational part of our brain. It helps us make better decisions, but unfortunately, its a very lazy system.
This book goes over the various natural biases, and the errors (and some of these are truly mind blowing) that our mind makes, without a second thought. The statistical treatment of some our decisions is also very interesting, and exposed huge swathes of fraudulence that we readily accept in our society.
I am not going to summarise this whole book, but suffice to say, reading this would change the way you’d make many day to day (and maybe even life changing) decisions.
If I were to criticize this book in some way, it would be the length of certain chapters. The last 70 odd pages tend to drag on, and don’t produce that same sense of awe that the first 75% of the book has.
I think this book is a very excellent read for those who want to be more conscious in their decision making approach. Don’t get fooled by simplistic descriptions of the two system thing, its way more complex, and interesting. The books could have lost a bit of its wordiness, especially towards the end, but its worth sitting though the ride. I’d give it a strong 4/5